Orange Park Senator On Expanded Use Of Medical Marijuana: ‘We Need More Research’

Florida lawmakers last week approved rules for the expanded use of medical-marijuana and patients could start treatment in “the next several weeks,” according to one state senator.

The new law restricts the use of fully-psychoactive marijuana to treat only severe conditions like HIV or cancer,as reported by the News Service of Florida. And it also invests public money in researching the potential for treating other ailments.

When asked if medical marijuana would be a safer alternative to opioids for treating pain,Bill Gulliford, a Jacksonville City Councilman, said during First Coast Connect Wednesday that it could be a heavy lift.

“We know the political reality of the strength of lobbyists, especially the ones that are well-funded,” he said. “You know the pharmaceuticals are very well-funded, and surely they have, what I would deem, a negative impact on the process at the state level.”

Around the world, researchers are beginning to explore marijuana as a drug addiction treatment, as CNN reports.

For now, Florida’s latest expansion allows treatment of serious diseases, like cancer.

But Sen. Rob Bradley, R-Orange Park,  who sponsored the bill, said that could change.

“Does it work in other areas like addiction treatment? We need more research. We need to fund that research. The federal government needs to quit labeling marijuana as a schedule 1 controlled substance because that’s completely inconsistent with the definition of what a schedule 1 controlled substance should be,” he said. “We know that it has medicinal value.”

The law allocates $750,000 to Tampa’s Moffitt Cancer Center to create the Coalition for Medicinal Cannabis Research and Education.


Story by Ryan Benk can be reached at //">,

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